Facing charges of perjury and filing false mortgage applications, ex-Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby (D) could have to hire a brand new legal team if a federal judge grants her lawyers’ bid to withdraw from her criminal case in light of a “conflict of interest.”
“Despite the Government’s many arguments to the contrary, this Court should grant the motion to withdraw in order to allow Ms. Mosby to have representation by counsel who can provide zealous representation without conflicts of interest,” her attorney A. Scott Bolden wrote in an 11-page court filing on Wednesday.
Both attorney and client now face possible criminal peril. A little more than a year ago, federal prosecutors filed a four-count indictment in connection with Mosby’s submissions of “Coronavirus-Related Distribution Requests” for one-time withdrawals of $40,000 and $50,000 from Baltimore’s deferred compensation plans. The Justice Department claims Mosby falsely certified that she suffered “adverse financial consequences” from the pandemic, despite receiving her full $247,955.58 gross salary from Jan. 1, 2020 through Dec. 29, 2020.
Mosby also stands accused of lying on applications for two Florida vacation properties: a $490,500 mortgage to purchase a home in Kissimmee, Florida, and a $428,400 mortgage for condominium in Long Boat Key, Florida. She has pleaded not guilty, blaming “political adversaries” inside the DOJ for her indictment.
“I’ve done nothing wrong,” Mosby insisted, in a defiant press conference shortly after her Jan. 13, 2022, indictment.
Earlier this month, her attorney Bolden faced potential jeopardy after a federal judge issued an order to show cause whether the attorney should be found in criminal contempt for allegedly disclosing confidential responses to a jury questionnaire.
“The Court must undertake the regrettable, but necessary, task of considering whether to hold Defense Counsel Bolden in contempt of court for violating its Local Rules,” U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby wrote in a six-page memorandum opinion, concluding that Bolden “repeatedly violated the Court’s Local Rules during the pendency of this litigation.”
“The public disclosure of the confidential response to the Court’s questionnaire could have a chilling effect on the willingness of potential jurors to provide candid and truthful responses to the Court’s questionnaire in this case, and in other criminal matters before this Court,” Griggsby wrote on Jan. 17, citing a news article quoting the defense attorney in the Baltimore Sun.
Bolden now claims that sustaining his representation of Mosby is “untenable.”
“Per the order of this court, Mr. Bolden will now be required to address the possibility that this court may impose criminal contempt sanctions and/or refer him for criminal prosecution to the United States Attorney’s Office,” his filing states. “In order to do so, Mr. Bolden must, understandably, focus on his own interests, not the interests of his client, Ms. Mosby.”
For Bolden, those legal troubles affect not only him but the “entire Reed Smith team,” referring to his law firm.
“The Government has argued that no conflict yet exists because the Court has not yet decided whether or not it will take action against Mr. Bolden. But Ms. Mosby’s case has not been continued,” the filing states. “Preparations for trial are ongoing, and even this week briefs were due in her case.”
If convicted, Mosby could face up to five years in federal prison for each of two counts of perjury and a maximum of 30 years on each of two counts of making false mortgage applications, prosecutors say.
Read the filing below:
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